We did it!
Of course we did, this team passes the tests placed in front of it.
From the minute the camera switched over to the national stadium, things seemed different. The flame boxes, disco lights, adrenaline raising music, card display, the large pitch itself with huge technical areas, all helped give off a real sense of occasion. It truly screamed out ‘big game’ and all the players had to do was play their part.
For the first 45 minutes, they didn’t. The game only sparked into life during the second half, the Hibs fans largest noise of the first a booing of our star striker.
Dominated by an injury and the ref, it was underwhelming, although the Glasgow team were the better side.
Regarding the injury, it’s natural to associate such a reaction with a very bad injury, but I’m not so sure.
The bhoy had made his big move and finally proved worthy of a starting slot, and I dare say was really enjoying life as part of this special group that wins things.
As such, perhaps it was disappointment at the fun times being halted, rather than genuine bad news that brought tears forth.
A torn hamstring (my impression) isn’t a tragedy.
Seen them back in three months, perfect time to play a big part in the final push. I fully expect to see him back before we know it, but I count five names that could feasibly come into contention for that slot (Soro, McCarthy, Henderson, Shaw, Bitton) lessening the blow.
Given the amount of injuries we have witnessed, the group deserves credit for their relentless pace.
That’s eight domestic wins in a row now, quite a feat.
The idiotic commentator for Premier Sports viewed a replay of the first bad tackle and stated it should be a yellow but he’s happy with that!?
He then proceeded to give Starfelt a very hard time, stating his corner giving clearance that lead to Hanlon’s goal was very poor defending.
I can’t agree.
It was literally route one football for their goal. Our Swede was holding the line and had no choice but to retreat and intercept an over the top ball. Travelling backwards the choice was either header up in the air, or behind, certainly not forward to the opposition. The old adage if in doubt put it out springs to mind, I certainly wasn’t saying poor decision at the time.
Set pieces do need addressed though, but there was never any sense of dread as they celebrated the opener. This team usually scores, that player usually scores.
And boom, straight away he did with a very classy goal.
The actual finish was sublime, going inside the keeper is the ballsier choice as many are primed to cover their inside.
I think their keeper got his angles wrong for our opener and was terribly mispositioned for the winning goal.
Kyogo keeps getting his angles correct.
His runs show real footballing intelligence, and we have a couple players who have the brain to pass into space for such runners. Tam is clearly one of them, and I think he’s happy in his ‘quarterback’ role.
The second was almost telepathic, they’re on each other’s wavelength alright.
I have worries over our difference maker though. We are one team with him and another without him, that’s never a good thing. A similar style striker is needed for continuity purposes.
We need him injury free, and that in itself is a poor position to be placed in. Every manager out there knows he’s deadly, and probably vital to our title aspirations.
He hasn’t painted a target on his back, far from it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the foul count on him ratcheted up.
Being very popular, I also worry about the effect his picking up a bad injury would have on the group’s morale. He is the talisman it seems.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
To these eyes we underperformed once again, despite the victory. I felt the wings were very poor, Mikey and Abada were pale imitations of James and Jota.
There’s very little variation to the Israelis play, and Mikey keeps spurning chance after chance to impress.
His late on booking was farcical, and he needs much more to his game than cutting inside onto the right foot for a shot that soon ends up blocked.
Liel prefers to drift to the edge of the box to receive, but his subsequent cross is usually into a crowded area with little chance of cleanly finding another Hoop.
I’d prefer if shot more often, but he’s been off the boil for so long now he’s freezing, and almost a passenger at this stage.
Neither of them deserve to start, and should have few complaints if they find themselves on the substitute bench for a period.
Cup finals are all about winning though, and the league cup comes home once again. If you didn’t smile watching Ange bring the cup to the support, check yer pulse. Calmacs pride was visible, the smiles were non stop, and the group received a timely morale boost. Put in the hard work and the soils shall follow, that’s exactly what’s happening here.
If you ask me there should be two objectives now,,win this year’s remaining games and as the new year dawn’s spring out of the traps with positive transfer news.
The following days game shall take care of itself.
Winning the next three games is a huge task I admit. Two of them away from home, and the home game against revenge seeking beaten finalists, taking all nine points would mean 11 domestic wins in a row,,,that’s something you just don’t tend to see. All we can do is approach every game as it comes. Wednesday night in the cold driving rain after Hampden’s exertions then celebrating shall not be easy,,you can imagine the opposition thinking it’s a great time to play them. You can imagine the ref thinking it’s a great time to bring them back down to earth with a bang.
Slowly but surely Ange turned the ship around, we all see the signs, but silverware is a tangible mark of progress made. All involved deserve congratulations, but especially the gaffer.
He’s the man we didn’t know we were crying out for, and now he’s a winner.
Well done mate.